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..Johnny was and is the North Star; you could guide your ship by him – the greatest of the greats then and now. I first met him in ‘62 or ‘63 and saw him a lot in those years. Not so much recently, but in some kind of way he was with me more than people I see every day.
~Bob Dylan (Statement on Johnny Cash – Sept 2003)
I love to go to the studio and stay there 10 or 12 hours a day. I love it. What is it? I don’t know. It’s life.
You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.
Lyle Lovett Inducts Johnny Cash into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
I Walk The Line – 1956:
|Birth name||John R. Cash|
|Born||February 26, 1932
Kingsland, Arkansas, United States
|Died||September 12, 2003 (aged 71)
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
|Genres||Country, rock and roll, gospel|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, musician, actor|
|Labels||Sun, Columbia, Mercury, American, House of Cash, Legacy Recordings|
|Associated acts||The Tennessee Three, The Highwaymen, June Carter Cash, The Statler Brothers, The Carter Family, Area Code 615|
John R. “Johnny” Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author who was considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Although he is primarily remembered as a country music icon, his songs and sound spanned other genres including rockabilly and rock and roll—especially early in his career—and blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of induction in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
San Quentin (Live):
Cash was known for his deep, distinctive bass-baritone voice, for the “boom-chicka-boom” sound of his Tennessee Three backing band; for a rebelliousness, coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor; for providing free concerts inside prison walls; and for his dark performance clothing, which earned him the nickname “The Man in Black”. He traditionally began his concerts with the phrase “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”, followed by his standard “Folsom Prison Blues”.
Much of Cash’s music echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His best-known songs included “I Walk the Line”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Ring of Fire”, “Get Rhythm” and “Man in Black”. He also recorded humorous numbers like “One Piece at a Time” and “A Boy Named Sue”; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called “Jackson”; and railroad songs including “Hey, Porter” and “Rock Island Line”. During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, most notably “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails.
Some awards & Honors:
His diversity was evidenced by his presence in three major music halls of fame:
- Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1977)
- Country Music Hall of Fame (1980)
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1992)
Only thirteen performers are in both of the last two, and only Hank Williams Sr., Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, and Bill Monroe share the honor with Cash of being in all three. However, only Cash was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the regular manner, unlike the other country members, who were inducted as “early influences.”
His pioneering contribution to the genre has also been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1996. Cash stated that his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, in 1980, was his greatest professional achievement. In 2001, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. He was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for best cinematography for “Hurt” and was supposed to appear, but died during the night.
Album of the day:
Johnny Cash at San Quentin (1969)